When we address learning disorders such as dyscalculia, we often focus on giving advice to parents and teachers who want to accompany and enhance the skills of these little ones. However, we never put ourselves in the shoes of themselves or their peers. And if you think about it better, most of the time the child is with his friends, sharing some experience on a social network, shouting a goal from his team or coming up with new antics to brighten up his day to day. That is why this time we are going to talk about the great importance of friendships for children with dyscalculia.
Aristotle has a very powerful phrase about friendship: '... it is a soul that lives in two bodies; a heart that dwells in two souls. ' That ability to bond with another is what allows you to recognize and accept yourself within this world. How significant it is to see these words of the philosopher Aristotle, because the soul is precisely that soul, that energy that makes us vital beings which by linking ourselves to each other allows us to be more alive and full of strength to continue in this life.
For this reason, instead of wanting to indicate some tips as an adult, I would like to see some tools in the vision of a child. To do this, here is the story of Pedro and his partner Santiago. We put ourselves in the shoes of that friend who wants to collaborate with his partner who suffers with dyscalculia disorder. The story is titled "Discovering ourselves in front of the Sea of Numbers".
I remember those wild eyes of Santiago when he saw that exercise in our math class. These moved as disoriented ants do, unable to make a route that would allow a certain order or tranquility. Above all, the teacher - unaware of the difficulties my friend has - He insisted on exercising or he won't be able to go out for recess. More distressing the situation!
Right in that space we were going to play our first league game between the courses and Santiago was the star goalkeeper. There is no one with the courage to fork out a ball or stretch to almost astronomical levels. But no, my friend had to solve the exercise. I raised my hand and asked if I could help him. We were lucky that the teacher noticed Santiago's anguish and agreed to my collaboration. We were able to get out of it, but I was left with the feeling that something else should be done. For this reason, I approached my chief tutor and told him about the situation. He could give me more insight on that.
He listened to me carefully and appreciated my initiative to do something. As he was unaware of any strategy, he promised to find out and update me on some ideas that we could work on among our group of friends. I still remember how I expected those news from my teacher. I thought that for the first time I was embarking on a project that was worth it, on a job that could really cause a change in someone. Overall, Santiago made it possible for me to start in the selection of our school, because he spent the whole summer training with me so that I could improve my reactions and speed with the ball. Why not do the same but in math?
Well, our tutor arrives and shows me a series of quite novel strategies. He told me that he got them from research developed by CogniFit, which could be applied in different spaces. These were some that we applied with Santiago:
1. Invite him to cook together
That we choose a specific meal and get to work. From this activity, begin to indicate what a quarter of flour, half a kilo of rice, six tomato slices or 3 onions mean. We could also encourage him to go to the supermarket together.
2. Play with the clock
That is, indicate a challenge and put a time limit on it, highlighting the figure of the numbers and with which sign our challenge effectively ends.
3. Ask questions about prices and money
In this way, we make him see the values and how they also coexist in our life.
4. Play to guess lots
It can be fun to guess how many lentils or beans we each have in hand.
5. Play counting
Count the favorite superheroes, list the things that make us eat, the stairs we climb, the steps we run, the trees we want to climb ... Anyway, everything that can be counted to graph what a number is.
6. Play to remember phone numbers
It is also a challenge to learn passports.
7. Help me distribute amounts
When we want to share a pizza or fries, let him be my helper in counting the equal parts.
That is, the tutor gave me several strategies and specific tasks to help Santiago in math. Indeed my friend was able to overcome his difficulties and I understood how one can contribute to the growth of a friend. Without realizing it, I was discovering how shocking and challenging it is to collaborate with the formation of someone.
Thanks to this episode, I was able later to realize that pedagogy was going to be my profession in life and that accompaniment was the trait for which I feel part of this world. All for working with Santiago and making me part of his training. Thanks to you, because that way your friend Pedro Jazmín has been able to discover his profession of life.
There are many other strategies, but through this story we can understand that, in addition to leading teachers, we must empower their peers to be part of the growth of their friends. I wish we realized how important it is to strengthen ties of friendship within our students, because the most important thing in school is to promote humanity among us, not just academics but the human value that living in society means.
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